itrofurantoin is an antibiotic. It is used to prevent and treat infections of the bladder, kidney and other parts of the urinary tract. Nitrofurantoin is also available as capsules in a modified release branded preparation called Macrobid.
Nitrofurantoin (immediate release and modified release capsules
What is nitrofurantoin?
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic. It is used to prevent and treat infections of the bladder, kidney and other parts of the urinary tract. Nitrofurantoin is also available as capsules in a modified release branded preparation called Macrobid.
How does it work?
Nitrofurantoin is a broad spectrum antibacterial agent, active against the majority of urinary bacteria. Nitrofurantoin is filtered out of the blood into the urine by your kidneys. This puts high levels of nitrofurantoin among the bacteria in the urine. Nitrofurantoin kills the bacteria by entering their cells and damaging their genetic material (DNA).
How is nitrofurantoin used?
Macrobid 100mg MR capsules
For treatment of bladder infections: One capsule twice a day for three days. Capsules should be swallowed whole. MacroBID capsules should be taken at meal times with food or milk. This will help to avoid stomach upset and also to help the absorption.
Nitrofurantoin 50mg tablets
For treatment of bladder infections: One tablet four times a day for three days. Tablets should be swallowed whole. Nitrofurantoin should be taken at meal times with food or milk. This will help to avoid stomach upset and also to help the absorption.
What are the common side-effects of?
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Most of them are mild and disappear when you stop taking Nitrofurantoin.
Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data):
- feeling sick (nausea) and headache
- loose stools
- loss of appetite, stomach ache and being sick (vomiting)
- dizziness, drowsiness
- urine may become coloured dark yellow or brown. This is quite normal and not a reason to stop taking the medicine.
Who can not use nitrofurantoin?
Do not take nitrofurantoin if:
- you are allergic to Nitrofurantoin, other medicines containing nitrofurantoin or any of the other ingredients
- you have a disease of the kidneys which is severely affecting the way they work (ask your doctor if you are not sure)
- you are in the final stages of pregnancy (labour or delivery) as there is a risk that it might affect the baby
- you have porphyria (blood disorder)
- you are a patient with G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency
- you are breast-feeding a baby with suspected or known deficiency in an enzyme called G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase).
Talk to your doctor if:
- you have diabetes
- you are suffering from any illness causing severe weakness
- you have anaemia (a decrease in red blood cells causing pale skin, weakness and breathlessness) or a lack of vitamin B or abnormal levels of salts in your blood (your doctor will be able to advise you)
- you have a history of allergic reactions
- if you have any problems with your kidneys.
The above conditions may increase the chance of developing a side effect which results in damage to the nerves, causes altered sense of feeling like pins and needles.
- you have any disease of the lungs, liver or nervous system. If you need to take Nitrofurantoin Tablets for a number of months, your doctor may want to regularly check how your lungs and liver are working
- you have false positive results on testing your urine for glucose
- your urine is dark yellow or brown coloured.
Talk to your doctor if you experience fatigue, yellowing of the skin or eyes, itching skin rashes, joint pain, abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dark urine and pale or grey coloured stools. It may be symptoms of liver disorder.
Please refer to the following Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) to find more information (including side effects) about nitrofurantoin.
For nitrofurantoin 50mg tablets PIL, please refer to:
For Macrobid 100mg modified release capsules PIL, please refer to:
Nitrofurantoin 50mg tablets, 100mg MR capsules
6 capsules (3 day course), 12 tablets (3 day course)